Orange Alert

Fall 2021 English Dept. Courses

Linked course titles have extended descriptions. Syllabi provided where available.
Course Title Day Time Instructor Room Syllabus Description
ENG 105 Intro to Creative Writing TTh 330-450PM Matthew Grzecki This course will introduce students to three types of creative writing: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction (including mixed genres). The course will focus on inspiration (why write a poem or a story or an essay?) as well as the techniques of evocative, compelling writing across all literary genres (e.g., point of view, concrete detail, lyricism, image, voice, tone, structure, dialogue, and characterization). Students will examine work by authors from various traditions and produce creative work in each genre. ENG 105 prepares students for upper-level creative writing courses in fiction and poetry.
ENG 107 Living Writers W 345-635PM Sarah Harwell This class gives students the rare opportunity to hear visiting writers read and discuss their work. The class is centered on six readings and question-and-answer sessions. Students will be responsible for careful readings of the writers’ work. Critical writing and detailed class discussions are required to prepare for the question-and-answer sessions with the visiting writers. The first class meets in Gifford Auditorium.
ENG 117 American Lit to 1865 MW 345-505PM Jeffrey Adams
ENG 119 U.S. Fiction After 1945 TTH 2-320PM Susan Edmunds This course offers a survey of U.S. fiction from the 1940s to the early 2000s. We will read a selection of short stories and novels alongside a range of other literary and nonliterary genres, including the autobiographical essay, the memoir, New Journalism, poetry, the political manifesto and the literary preface. We will interpret the fiction through a sociohistorical lens, and place particular emphasis on investigating the interconnections between literary form and social change. After an initial survey of fiction written in direct response to World War II and its aftermath, we will read texts associated with or influenced by the counterculture, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights, Black Power and Black Arts Movements, Second Wave Feminism, and the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.
ENG 119 Topics in US literature TTH 5-620PM Natalie El-Eid
ENG 121 Introduction to Shakespeare MW 215-335PM Dympna Callaghan Who was William Shakespeare? This lecture course aims to answer this question via an intensive introduction to his life and language. This class will focus on two key issues: first, the relation between Shakespeare’s life and his work, and secondly, on the language of his plays and poems. No previous familiarity with Shakespeare is required, but you do need to be committed to careful and sustained critical reading and analysis as well as active participation in Friday discussion sections. The main goals of this class are to help you read and enjoy Shakespeare, to foster rigorous intellectual engagement with his work, to learn about the historical context in which he was writing, and to develop your own critical writing skills. We will emphasize understanding and engagement with Shakespeare’s text rather than simply its “translation” or the rehearsal of plotlines. Since Shakespeare’s language is what most distinguishes him from his rivals and collaborators—as well as what most embeds him in his own historical moment—this class will take language to be the very heart of Shakespeare’s literary achievement rather than as an obstacle to be circumvented by the reader or audience. Do not be put off if you find reading Shakespeare difficult—this is entirely to be expected and is a key part of the learning process. This is a writing intensive class, which means that it fulfills the writing intensive requirement of the University curriculum. The purpose of this requirement is to familiarize you with the thought processes, structures, and styles associated with writing in the liberal arts. 
ENG 122 Introduction to the Novel MW 215-335PM Erin Mackie This class is for everyone who loves to read novels. Here we will develop an understanding of what kinds of worlds novels imagine with us, how they have worked in the writing of modern culture, and, most importantly, how they invite us to read. From the eighteenth-century through to the present, the fictional prose narratives we call novels have told stories about the challenges of modern life—with all its change, disorder and innovation, uncertainty and aspiration, dislocation and mobility. As we proceed through a representative selection of novels in English, we will focus on how they address social, cultural, and political change. For example, how do the marriage plot and the narrative of personal development in Pride and Prejudice address the gendered and class-based conditions of life inhabited by Jane Austen’s contemporaries? When Mark Twain re-engages his youthful cast from Tom Sawyer in Huckleberry Finn, how does the boy’s adventure story interact with regional American writing to produce a grave statement on slavery, racism, and the failures of Reconstruction? How are these issues revisited in Toni Morrison’s Beloved? We will encounter a wide range of novelistic forms and discourses: classic realism and free indirect discourse; the domestic and historical novel; the satiric novel and its allegorical ironies; the modernist experimental novel and its stream of consciousness technique; and contemporary historical fiction.
ENG 122 Introduction to the Novel TTH 330-450PM Lauren Cooper
ENG 145 Reading Popular Culture MW 215-330PM Antonio Tiongson This course considers a range of theoretical approaches to the study of popular culture, including cultural studies, subcultural theory, and feminist theory as well as key concepts and key debates in the study of popular culture. It explores the ways popular culture is implicated in the formation of social determinants such as race, gender, class, and sexuality and conversely, how these social determinants are implicated in the formation of popular culture. The course also considers the ways in which popular culture serves as a site of ongoing political struggle. The aim of the course is to provide students with a critical vocabulary to make sense of the broader significance and relevance of popular culture—how and why popular culture matters. To accomplish this, we will investigate a number of popular expressive forms including teen magazines, fandom, high school proms, quinceaneras, the comedy of Dave Chappelle, branding, hip hop, and Indigenous performance. 
ENG 145 Reading Popular Culture TTH 330-450PM Madelyn Krumel
ENG 151 Interpretation of Poetry MW 215-335PM Sean Conrey This course introduces students to techniques and approaches to interpreting and analyzing poetry. We will thus develop close reading skills while learning to recognize forms and tropes common to English language poetry as well as poetry in translation. Reading work from the ancient period to the present day, we will develop critical reading habits in conjunction with the skills necessary to convey our interpretations in writing. Readings will interrogate the role of the poet as both the keeper of a culture’s history and it’s first critic, and so we will look particularly at how oral and literate traditions utilize different poetic forms toward these ends. Texts for this course may include the Anglo Saxon poem “The Wanderer,” the Norse Eddas, various song styles (hymns, blues, ballads, hip hop), work by the Transcendentalists and the Beats, The New York School, and contemporary work by CD Wright, Saul Williams, Maurice Manning and Suheir Hammad.
ENG 153 Interpretation of Fiction MW 345-505PM Erin mackie Cultures tell many of their most profound truths in their fictions. We will look at the truths of fictions across a range of narrative forms, from the faery tale to the short novel. As we read, we will develop an awareness of the elements of fiction: theme, narrative and plot, setting, character, point-of-view, style, and tone. We will pay attention not only to the story told but also to who is telling it and to whom, its narrator and their audience. And always, we will think about the values, or truths, promoted by the fiction and the ends it seeks to achieve in its telling.
ENG 153 Interpretation of Fiction TTH 5-620PM Evan Hixon
ENG 154 Interpretation of Film MW/ WITH MONDAY SCREENING 7-930PM 930-1025AM Roger Hallas This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the interpretation of film. Regarded as the quintessential medium of the last century, cinema has profoundly shaped the ways in which we see the world and understand our place within it. Focusing principally on classical and contemporary English-language cinema, we will investigate precisely how meaning is produced in cinema. The course integrates a close attention to the specific aesthetic and rhetorical aspects of film with a wide-ranging exploration of the social and cultural contexts that shape how we make sense of and take pleasure in films. We shall also devote attention to the question of history: How may one interpret a film in relation to its historical context? Film history incorporates not only the films that have been produced over the past one hundred years, but also an understanding of how the practice of moviegoing has transformed over time. No prior film experience is required.
ENG 155 Interpretation of Nonfiction TTH 5-620PM Simon Staples
ENG 155 Interpretation of Nonfiction TTH 330-450PM Elizabeth Gleesing
ENG 156 Interpretation of Games MW/ WITH WEDNESDAY SCREENING 7-930PM 930-1025AM Christopher Hanson What are the roles of games and play in contemporary culture and how are these roles shifting? How do we “read” and interpret a game such as Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar, 2018) or Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985)? How do we understand augmented reality games like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Niantic, 2019) or virtual and mixed reality experiences made possible by technologies such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens? How do games shape and change our interactions with the world and vice versa? This course will explore the evolving form of digital games, tracing their historical roots in traditional board games and other associated cultural modes of play to current and possible future iterations of video games such as esports. As we examine the development of games and their associated genres, we will investigate the historical, social, political, cultural, and economic contexts of individual games, and consider the relationship of games to other media forms and texts. We will explore the means by which we “read” and interpret games, linking these to the methods of reading and interpretation of other texts. This course serves as introduction to game studies and we will explore key critical frameworks and concepts for analyzing and understanding games and gameplay. In addition to games, we will also study screen-based media texts which explicitly or implicitly engage with the concepts of game studies. Attendance at a weekly discussion sections and evening screenings is required.
ENG 174 World Lit to 1000 TTH 11-1220PM Harvey Teres This course will expand your understanding of cultures from around the world as you read and discuss some of the most achieved and influential examples of literature from African, Asian, and Western traditions. These diverse texts and cultures will provide vital contexts for your exploration of your own life, and contemporary social life in general. We will begin with some of the oldest literature in the world (Gilgamesh and Egyptian love poems), and go on to read sections from the Hebrew Bible (the “Old” Testament), Sanskrit and Greek epics (The Ramayana and The Iliad), classical Chinese philosophy (Confucius and Zhuangzi), Greek and Roman lyric poetry (Sappho, Catullus, Horace, and others), The New Testament, Saint Augustine’s Confessions, Chinese Tang and Song dynasty poetry (Li Bai, Du Fu, Wang Wei, and others), excerpts from the Qur’an, stories from 1001 Nights, and excerpts from The Tale of Genji by the Japanese woman writer Murasaki Shikibu, arguably the first novel ever written. Classes will alternate between lectures and discussions. You will have the option of either producing shorter response papers or traditional midterm and final interpretive essays.
ENG 181 Class and Literary Texts TTH 5-620PM Katherine Kidd In this course, we will examine a selection of 19th, 20th, and 21st century U.S. American novels, periodicals, poetry, and film through the lens of a social category that is often ignored or denied—due to cultural blind spots, critical dismissals, and even deliberate suppression—within U.S. American social histories, literary canons, and classrooms: the economic class system. Some focused textual questions we will ask include: is working-class literature produced by, for, or about working-class people? Are representations of the working-and-poverty classes in these texts fair, productive, or accessible? What are the obstacles to representing class experience? Who counts as working class?  What counts as work? How does U.S. working-class literature participate in forging or re-forging American values and culture, and how might it help us imagine alternatives to what we’ve got? 
ENG 181 Class and Literary Texts TTH 8-920AM Florencia Lauria
ENG 182 Introduction to Black American Literature TTH 330-450 PM Delali Kumavie In this introductory class, we will consider Black literature and culture as a “call and response.” This means we will consider Black literature and culture as interrelated rather than a discrete set of literary and cultural practices. We will use the framework of “call and response”—a participatory model of civic, literary, and musical forms—to stage a conversation between literary and cultural texts written at different periods of time considering. Questioning how writers have been inspired by, critical of, and have repeated with a difference the themes, traditions, and concerns of earlier generations, we will engage the broad scope of Black literature as an interactive, critical, and experimental body of literary and cultural works. Throughout the course, we will interrogate the persistent presence and engagement with transatlantic slavery, race and racism, violence, gender and sexuality, and the nation-state in Black American literature and culture. We will consider questions such as: how does the neo-slave narrative of the twentieth and twenty-first century respond to the “call” of slave narratives such as those by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs? How does Toni Morrison’s Paradise re-engage with the promises and failures of reconstruction? In what ways does Ta-Nehisi Coates re-frame the questions and accusation James Baldwin levels against the United States in The Fire Next Time? 
ENG 182 Afro-Latinx Literature MW 515-635PM Ethan Madarieta Who is Afro-Latinx? Do all Black Latin Americans/Latinxs identify as Afro-Latinx? Are Afro-Latinxs Latinx or Black, both or neither? Does the pan-ethnic category Latinx already include Black Latinas/os/xs? And how do African continental and Indigenous identities and histories shape our understandings of Afro-Latinidades/Latinidades? This course focuses on, but is not limited to, performances, novels, poetry, scholarship, and film by African, Latin American, Indigenous, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx artists and scholars. Through these works we will address the questions posed above and explore representations of Afro-Latinidades in order to better understand the complexities of blackness, Latinidades, indigeneity, and race in a transnational and transcontinental frame—from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the United States. We will use this understanding to disrupt quotidian notions of the fixity of ethno-racial categories, the temporality of Western Modernity, and the concept of national identity, as each work offers new ways for approaching the reverberations of racialized colonial violence in our present.
ENG 184 Ethnicity & Literary Texts TTH 11-1220PM Silvio Torres-Saillant Introduction to Latino Literature introduces students to the art of literature as practiced by American authors of Hispanic descent. In dealing with literary artists from an ethnically distinct segment of the US population, the course also introduces students to the subject of ethnicity as it relates to creative writing in the United States, a nation with a long history of inter-group conflict based on ancestral difference. Placing the writers in a timeline that starts with the 1513 arrival of Spanish ships on the Florida coast, nearly a century before the 1607 arrival of English fortune-seekers in Jamestown, the course shows the size, longevity, diversity, complexity, and merit of the literary corpus considered. We shall read texts for their power of signification and aesthetic quest as art while considering the issues that literary critics and scholars tend to privilege when approaching Latino literature. Critical and scholarly writings on Latino literature typically focus on history, culture, transnational identity, race, ethnicity, language, borderlands, hybridity, class, gender, sexuality, and social justice. We will read poetry, drama, short fiction, novels, memoirs, and essays while seeking to account for several of the countries to which Latina/os trace their roots, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Cuba, Spain, and the Dominican Republic. Our reading list will offer a sampling of texts chosen from across the long history of Hispanic print culture in the United States from the colonial period to the present.
ENG 184 Great Jewish Writers TTH 11-1220PM Kenneth Frieden A panorama of great stories written by Jewish authors, including Abramovitsh, Sholem Aleichem, Peretz, Kafka, Agnon, Wiesel, and Yiddish women writers. Topics include narrative techniques, figurative language, shtetl life in E. Europe, modernization, coherence and progress, humor and satire, love, marriage, the Nazi genocide, and post-war trauma.
ENG 192 Gender and Literary Texts TTH 5-620PM Haejoo Kim In this course, students will read and analyze the portrayal and role of gender in a collection of literary and theoretical texts, with a focus on the intersections of gender, race, class, religion, and ability. We will begin with the premise that gender is a social construct—rather than a natural, ahistorical “essence”—and examine the ways in which literature and cultural production participates and challenges the social reproduction of gender. The selected literature features novels, poetry, essays, short stories, and a graphic novel by a variety of writers including Toni Morrison, Alison Bechdel, Randa Jarrar, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This course is reading intensive, so students should be ready to handle rigorous reading assignments, accompanied by writing analytical papers that would reflect the students’ understanding of the issues raised in these texts. The main objective of this course is to develop students’ critical thinking capabilities as well as their analytical skills. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement of the Liberal Arts Core. The purpose of the writing-intensive course is to familiarize students with the thought processes, structures, and styles associated with writing in the liberal arts. 
ENG 192 Gender and Literary Texts MW 345-505PM Caroline Charles
ENG 200 Sci-Fi MW 515-635PM Katherine Kidd The origins and definition of Science Fiction or speculative fiction are debated by fans and scholars all over the world. Likewise, scholars continue to debate the value of the genre as Literature with a capital L. In this course, we will take the genre and its capacities for uniquely powerful social commentary seriously as we explore possible beginnings, movements, subgenres and shifts within Science Fiction short stories and novels, as well as some television and film. We will look primarily at U.S. American and British texts, but we will expand beyond the West somewhat. This course features opportunities for creative work, as well as critical reading and writing.
ENG 215 Introductory Poetry Workshop T 330-615PM Jonathan Lemay Thomas Hardy wrote “Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.” In this introductory workshop you will acquire the craft in order to write original poems in the pursuit of such art. You will be required to write both creatively and critically as you compose your own poems, work on imitations, revise, and analyze and critique the poems of others. There will be a variety of creative prompts, critical exercises, and assigned readings to deepen your knowledge of poetry, as well as contribute to your growth as a creative writer. All poetic souls welcome. Participation and attendance are necessary.
ENG 215 Introductory Poetry Workshop ONLINE Jules Gibbs In this workshop-based online class designed for beginning poets, we’ll examine the power of experimentation, language, and associative thinking in poems. We’ll work hard to break out of routinized patterns of writing in order to realize the greater potential of our own thinking and writing. We’ll also hone peer-critique skills, engage in lively (online) discussions about our poetic tradition, and participate in writing exercises that are designed to energize student work and generate new poems. The emphasis in this class is on risk-taking, experimentation, and invention.
ENG 216 Introductory Literary Nonfiction Workshop TH 1230-215PM Chris Brunt This course will introduce students to the non-fiction workshop. Students will practice writing, reading, and critiquing various genres within non-fiction writing, such as the personal essay and memoir, the lyric essay, and journalistic reporting. In class, we will discuss student work as well as published work. Students will learn to use fictional devices such as setting, point of view, character, dialogue, plot construction, and metaphor to craft factually accurate essays about real events. Participation and attendance are mandatory.
ENG 217 Introductory Fiction Workshop T 330-620PM Leila Green This course will introduce students to the fiction workshop. Students will learn how to write a story, how to read closely, and how to critique and revise stories. In class, we will discuss student work as well as published work. There will be in-class writing exercises and prompts, which will lead students to create stories of their own. Attendance and participation are mandatory.
ENG 217 Introductory Fiction Workshop M 1245-335PM Matthew Grzecki This course will introduce students to the fiction workshop. Students will learn how to write a story, how to read closely, and how to critique and revise stories. In class, we will discuss student work as well as published work. There will be in-class writing exercises and prompts, which will lead students to create stories of their own. Attendance and participation are mandatory.
ENG 217/ENG 403 Introductory Fiction Workshop ONLINE Jules Gibbs This workshop-based online class is designed for beginning fiction writers. Through reading assignments, writing exercises, and peer critiques, students will engage boldly with new ways of thinking about a short story, and draft and revise original pieces of fiction with an eye towards craft and invention. We’ll hone peer-critique skills, engage in lively (online) discussions about our literary tradition, and participate in writing exercises that are designed to energize student work. The emphasis in this class is on risk-taking, experimentation, and invention.
ENG 217 Introductory Fiction Workshop ONLINE Jules Gibbs This workshop-based online class is designed for beginning fiction writers. Through reading assignments, writing exercises, and peer critiques, students will engage boldly with new ways of thinking about a short story, and draft and revise original pieces of fiction with an eye towards craft and invention. We’ll hone peer-critique skills, engage in lively (online) discussions about our literary tradition, and participate in writing exercises that are designed to energize student work. The emphasis in this class is on risk-taking, experimentation, and invention.
ENG 242 Reading and Interpretation TTH 2-320PM Patricia Moody This course introduces students to the discipline of English and Textual Studies, stressing not what is read but how we read it. The goal is not only to learn how meanings are created through acts of critical reading but also to demonstrate the consequences of pursuing one way of reading over another. This course will enhance your ability to interpret texts contextually and closely, and to articulate your understanding effectively I writing. Each section of ET 242 takes up issues of central concern within contemporary literary and cultural studies. These include representation, language, reading, authorship subjectivity, ideology, culture, history and difference
ENG 242 Reading and Interpretation TTH 1230-150PM Silvio Torres-Saillant (Reading and Interpretation) introduces students to the study of English as an academic field focusing on reading practices, axes of analysis, and schools of thought in criticism and theory of literature. Students learn that the outcome of the act of reading varies in accordance with the perspective from which a reader approaches a given text. They become aware of their own a priori critical or theoretical stance and acquire the conceptual tools with which to examine their mode of reading in relation to those of others. Students enhance their skills as interpreters of texts able to grasp the elements contained in literary works as well as in the socio-historical contexts in which texts and readers exist. The course offers a reasonable sampling of criticism and theory from antiquity to the present, while inviting students to read works such as Antigone, Othello, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through a critical lens that may differ from their reading practice when they first encountered the stories told in those texts. The course will survey various ways of reading critically and several theoretical approaches, while exploring the questions of authorship, literariness, representation, artistic communication, and historical reality, inter alia. We examine the claim that literature deepens our understanding of our place in the world, sharpens our ability to contend with uncertainty, and trains us to empathize with others, precisely the resources we need in times of collective affliction.
ENG 301 Practicum in Reading and Writing Prose TTH 5-620PM Chanelle Benz In this course, students will discuss, analyze and reproduce the techniques of published prose writers in various nonfiction genres, including the personal essay, literary journalism, flash nonfiction, memoir, and the lyric essay. Authors to be studied as models may include: Cheryl Strayed, Kiese Laymon, Ocean Vuong, Jesmyn Ward, Mary HK Choi, Leslie Jamison, Diane Suess, Ander Monson, and Zandria Robinson. Students will be required to produce both creative and analytical responses to the texts.
ENG 303 Practicum in Reading and Writing Fiction TTH 930-1050AM Sarah Harwell All creative disciplines depend on the study and imitation of the particular art form for mastery of its elements. In this course, students will read and analyze a number of short stories in order to deepen their understanding of a variety of concerns in storytelling, including voice, style, description, story, and character. We will attempt to answer the question: how have authors generated emotions, interest, and power in creative texts? Students will be required to display an understanding of these issues by producing creative and analytical responses to the texts studied. Possible authors include Donald Barthelme, James Joyce, Anton Chekhov, Percival Everett, Joy Williams, ZZ Packer, and Kirsten Valdez-Quade.
ENG 305 Literature and Its Media TTH 11-1220PM Christopher Forster We usually talk about "novels," "poems," and "films" (and "texts" of various other kinds). But what about the paper and ink (or parchment or wax or celluloid or LCD screens or tablets) that carry those texts? Do these materials affect the forms and content represented? Do they change what, or how, we read? This class draws on the field of media studies in order to investigate the ways that materiality impacts textual meaning. This class will cover a diverse and historically broad set of materials and concerns, looking at the history of text technologies from the ancient world through to contemporary developments in digital culture. To explore these questions, we’ll focus on a few literary texts which foreground questions of textual materiality, including Dracula, Tristram Shandy, and more recent experiments in digital fiction.
ENG 311 Health and Medicine in Nineteenth Century Britain MW 515-635PM Haejoo Kim Prompted by the unprecedented scale of the Covid-19 pandemic, we witness a plethora of medical narratives around us today—the narratives through which people make sense of the new reality. Some are about the globe and its connectedness, some are about doctors and their authority, some are about individuals and their intuitions—and some are all of these at once. This course traces the origins of medical rhetoric today by turning to the nineteenth century, when not only did a global pandemic first become both a real and imaginary threat, but also medicine and its system as we know them were first established. The course comprises two sections. The first section, “Epidemics and Global Modernity,” examines three pandemic novels, each representing the early nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries: Mary Shelley’s The Last Man (1826), Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague (1912), and Ling Ma’s Severance (2018). We will trace similarities and differences in how these novels represent global modernity, with a focus on the cultural construction of racial and national communities. In the second section, “Medical Professionalization and Its Discontents,” we will direct our attention to the cultural negotiations of the period that helped formulate what we now know as medical expertise. A particular emphasis will be given to the smallpox vaccination controversy, a central discursive site in which different medical agencies competed. By examining a variety of texts that feature anxieties around professional medical expertise, such as anti-vaccination pamphlets, H. Rider Haggard’s Doctor Therne, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, and H. G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau, we learn not only about the historicity of the doctor-patient relationship, but also about how discourses of race, class, and gender intersected in the social negotiation of that relationship. At the end of the semester, students will have a chance to present their rhetorical and visual analysis of health- and medicine- related cultural objects of their choice (consumer products, advertisements, opinion pieces, internet communities, YouTube videos, etc.), in light of the course’s framework. This course encourages students’ critical and intellectual engagement with the present cultural moment and supports such attempts by collectively exploring the longer history of medical imagination.
ENG 315 Holocaust in American Lit TTH 2-320PM Harvey Teres This course will explore the moral, religious, and artistic challenges faced by American writers who have represented the Holocaust and its aftermath in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Students will begin by reading a historical account of the Holocaust, followed by efforts to link the Holocaust to trauma studies, slavery, and other examples of genocide. We will spend the rest of the semester reading literary representations of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Texts will include Philip Roth’s “Eli, the Fanatic” and The Ghost Writer; Bernard Malamud’s “The Last Mohican” and “Lady of the Lake”; Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird, Cynthia Ozick’s “The Pagan Rabbi,” “The Shawl,” and “Rosa”; Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated; Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem; Art Spiegelman’s Maus I and Maus II; Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution; Nathan Englander’s “The Tumblers”; and selected poetry by Jacob Glatstein, Charles Reznikoff, W.D. Snodgrass, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Anthony Hecht, Elie Wiesel, and others.
ENG 325 Histories and Varieties of English TTH 11-1220PM Pat Moody Want to know what IPA is and how it is used? What runes really are? Be able to decipher literature written in Anglo-Saxon? Read some Chaucer in Middle English? Better understand Shakespeare? Learn why and how English speakers across the US and globe sound so different from “us”? Or what Disney does with language?This course aims to provide students with as much knowledge as possible, as interactively as possible, of fundamental linguistic concepts, the basic structures of the English language and representations of its history. Equally important, the course aims to develop critical awareness of contemporary language issues and the complex ways in which language and our ideas about language embed attitudes about issues such as gender, race, and class.
ENG 340 Film Noir/Noir Cultures TTH WITH TURSDAY SCREEENING 7-930PM 5-620PM Will Scheibel "Film noir" is a French term used in reference to "dark films," traditionally understood as a type of Hollywood mystery, suspense thriller, or crime melodrama from the 1940s and 1950s. This course suggests that to learn the history of film noir, we need to study it at the intersections of different cultural expressions and determining factors. Our investigation will therefore span genres, styles, and time periods in U.S. narrative cinema. What cultural needs and desires does noir serve? What does noir illuminate (albeit darkly) about our culture? To begin addressing these questions, we will analyze cinematic elements of mise-en-scène, such as costumes, lighting, sets, and locations, emphasizing the relationship between Classical Hollywood style and what came to be called “film noir.” We will then examine how crime fiction, painting and photography, and popular music all helped shape noir styles, as well as how classic-era noir influenced “neo-noir,” which has expanded and, in some cases, reinterpreted what noir means (including films made by and about women, queer people, and people of color). Finally, we will consider the legacy of film noir in comics, television, and video games to recognize its diverse uses over time and across visual media. In addition to watching films in weekly screenings, students will have opportunities to play the game L.A. Noire in the SU Digital Scholarship Space and visit the SU Special Collections Research Center to look at archival material from the Pulp Literature and Science Fiction holdings for a primary research project.
ENG 352 Black Diasporas and World-Making TTH 930-1050AM Delali Kumavie The African diaspora is often imagined to be a direct outcome of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. However, prior to and after the trade, people from the African continent continued to travel and settle all over the world bringing with them, and inventing, new cultural and literary forms. In this class, we will consider long-existing black diasporas in Britain, Europe, the Americas, and more recent diasporas in China. We will interrogate the relation between these diasporas and the diaspora created through the trans-Atlantic slave trade in order to consider issues of race and racism, blackness, migration and transportation, and gender and sexuality. We will pay close attention to the relationship between the trans-Atlantic slave trade, international policy, as well shifts in global power structures and their effect on the creation of new diasporic communities. Examples of texts we will engage with include: Dinaw Mengestu’s The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, Nnedi Okorafor’s LaGuardia, Akwaeke Emezi Freshwater, Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series, and Marie N’Diaye’s Three Strong Women, and Ken Kamoche’s Black Ghosts among others.
ENG 352 Latinx Futurisms MW 345-505PM Ethan Madarieta In Latinx futurisms the past, present, and future collide creating new ways of remembering the past, inhabiting our present, and imagining the future. The speculative becomes a way to defamiliarize dominant historical memory and to develop other ways of knowing and being in the world. Latinx futurisms open up ways for us to rethink the connections between race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, technology, politics, and the nation, and to imagine pasts, presents, and futures where these structures might (or might not) change. This course explores Latinx futurisms alongside Indigenous and Afrofuturisms and a long history of Latin American and Latinx politics and migration. In this course we will engage with critical scholarly works as well as SciFi and other speculative fiction, poetry, and film. We will look not only at narrative content and its relation to the world(s) we live in, but also interrogate this connection through close examinations of these texts’ forms and structures, and the use of contemporary critical theory.
ENG 360 Queer Comics MW 345-505PM katherine Kidd Just like LGBTQ+ folx in the mainstream, comics as a medium have become increasingly accepted in academic contexts. In fact, the comics medium – a.k.a. graphic novel or sequential art – is particularly apt for telling queer stories, because it is accessible and malleable, lending itself uniquely to queer world-building and the representation of identities and bodies in transition. In this class, we will look at LGBTQ+ representation in sequential art from a variety of time periods, but in particular the 20th and 21st centuries, using visual and literary analysis. Some course texts will be Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, AK Summers’ Pregnant Butch, Kelly Sue McConnick and Valentine Delandro’s Bitch Planet, works by Michael DeForge, a number of webcomics, superhero comics, and many others. Students will have an opportunity to do creative work in addition to the critical analytical writing of the course.
ENG 361 Hx Sexuality & 19th-C Am Lit TTH 1230-150PM Dorri Beam This class explores the possibility that sex and sexuality have histories and may mean differently across time. Before the relatively recent invention of heterosexuality and homosexuality in the late nineteenth-century, what was sex? What did it include and exclude? How did people understand their intimate relations? Into what categories did people fit their self-stylizations of gender,affect, and pleasure? Did they have an idea of sexuality as an identity? As something stable and belonging to them? How did social structures--for instance, marriage and the family or the nineteenth-century color line and legal segregation--organize sex, feeling, affiliations,and identities? The nineteenth-century is arguably the period of the emergence of “sexuality,” and we will examine the use of literature itself for thinking about the history of sexuality while also dipping into other areas such as health reform, marriage advice, utopian manifestos, and sex radicalism; practices of polygamy and celibacy; and African American and Native American resistant formations of marriage or family. Texts may include Queer Nineteenth-Century Short Stories, Christopher Looby; Julia Ward Howe, The Hermaphrodite; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass; Charles Chesnutt, Stories of the Color Line; Kate Chopin, A Vocation and A Voice.
ENG 403 Advanced Writing Workshop: Fiction T 330-615PM Jonathan Dee What’s a “plot,” anyway? Are fictional characters supposed to change, or be consistent? This class will develop and expand upon the literary skills introduced in ETS 217 (which is a prerequisite). The primary focus will be on how to write better, more effective, more technically sophisticated short stories and/or novel excerpts; the secondary focus will be on how to critique constructively others’ work in these same forms. There will be some in-class exercises, as well as some published work to analyze. But most of the class will center on the writing and constructive critique (both written and verbal) of original work created by you: two submissions (probably) over the course of the semester, maximum 25 pages each, distributed to your peers a week in advance for their reading pleasure. We’ll talk as well about the writing life beyond the college workshop: publishing, graduate MFA programs, etc.
ENG 407 Victorian Ecologies TTH 1230-150PM Coran Klaver This course will draw on ecocriticism and environmental to examine the nineteenth-century British novel. As the Victorian literary and cultural scholar Nathan Henley points out, the Victorian invented ecology. The term first entered English usage in 1875 in a British scientific journal, arriving there via the German coinage that was itself an adapted from Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Even before Darwin 1859 treatise on The Origin of Species, eighteenth and nineteenth-century conjectural and natural historians has begun charting the history of humans in relation to other forms of being. Through this course, we will explore the Victorian novel as a narrative form that attempts to conceptualize and plot the relations between human and their environments. Key areas of inquiry will be the influence of Darwinian thought and evolutionary theory, the relationship and systemic links between English and imperial environments, and environmental disaster. Our novels will explore various environments—regional, urban, and global—as well as the connections between these. Readings for the course will include: George Eliot, Mill on the Floss; Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders; Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend or Hard Times; and Olive Schreiner, Story of an African Farm. These novels will be supplemented by one or two other novels and selected reading in ecocriticism and environmental criticism. As an Advanced Seminar in Critical Writing, this course will also to help students design, develop, and write a fifteen-page research paper based on the questions and materials from this course. Requirements for the course will include a series of written scaffolding assignments, in-class writings, an oral presentation, and a fifteen-page literary research paper.
ENG 410 Cinema and the Documentary Idea MW WITH WEDNESDAY SCREENING 7-930PM 1245-205PM Roger Hallas Invented at end of the nineteenth century, cinema was inevitably shaped by industrial modernity’s demand for empirical evidence. But the medium also has a long history as a tool for self-representation and the exploration of subjectivity. Cinema continues to be regarded in various ways as a powerful visual technology for capturing the “real” in all its diversity. This course investigates the complex history and theorization of the documentary idea across various film and video practices. We shall examine not only classic and contemporary documentary films, but also experimental cinema, fake documentaries, wildlife films, docudramas, and reality television. We shall interrogate the very term “documentary” which has a long and contested history that traverses scientific, legal, aesthetic, political, sociological, and anthropological discourses. Moving from the euphoria and anxiety around the first public film screenings by the Lumière Brothers in 1895 through the radical defamiliarization of the world in Soviet and 1960s political cinema to the subversive playfulness of the contemporary mockumentary, the course explores the relations between documentary practices from different national, historical, and political contexts.
ENG 410 Literature of Addiction MW 345-505PM Chris Brunt Is there a shortcut to ecstatic reality? Or is reality something we should flee from, no matter the cost? Can art itself be drunk? And what do destiny, decadence, and deliverance have to do with the DSM-V?  In this interdisciplinary class, we will explore representations of addiction to drugs and drink in ancient and modern literature, philosophy, science, and art. We will also look at the current “disease” model of addiction as a paradigm of mental illness, read new scholarship on the epidemic of pharmaceutical addiction, and consider various therapies and redemption narratives from antiquity to our present time.  
ENG 630 Postwar U.S. Fiction 1940-2015 TH 930AM-1215PM Susan Edmunds In this seminar, we will read U.S. fiction written from the aftermath of World War II to the present. We will interpret texts through a sociohistorical lens, with particular emphasis placed on investigating the interconnections between literary form and social change. I am in the process of redesigning an earlier version of this course. A preliminary list of texts includes: Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952); Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; (1965); Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985); Morrison, Beloved (1987); Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker (1995); Helena Maria Viramontes, And Their Dog Came With Them (2007); Karen Tei Yamashita, I Hotel (2010); and Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive (2019). Many of these novels are long so we will probably devote two classes to several of them.
ENG 630 The Literature of Slavery and Social Change/Antebellum U.S. TH 2-445PM Dorri Beam This course places abolition, especially Black abolition, women’s rights, and communitarianism at the center of print culture and literary endeavor in the immediate antebellum period, often known as the American Renaissance.  The Civil War is often considered a second (as yet unfinished) American Revolution and the period surrounding it presents a particularly rich field for examining the ways that literary and social experiment intersect.  We will explore a range of imaginative ideas—inventive temporalities (millennialism, revolution, utopia), new models of social relation (the commune, racial equality, the abolition of marriage), and resistant practices and geographies (underground railroads, marronage, diaspora)—each giving expression to a variety of political and social aims. The fall events of Dr. Gabrielle Foreman’s Distinguished Professor residency on the Colored Conventions Movement and local historical contexts in CNY, such as the 1864 Syracuse Convention, the Underground Railroad, the Oneida Community, and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy will provide on-the-ground research and learning opportunities for us. Readings in critical race theory, queer theory, new materialism, and the burgeoning field of African American print culture will invigorate our approach.The syllabus foregrounds Black authors and provides an introduction to critical race theory, especially theory grounded in ideas about the legacy of slavery, to which antebellum Black writing is foundational. Featured texts may include Nat Turner’s Confessions, Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth-Century, Sojourner Truth’s Narrative, selected essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass’s The Heroic Slave, Hannah Craft’s The Bondwoman’s Narrative, Martin Delany’s Blake; or The Huts of America, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Frances Harper’s poetry, speeches, and magazine fiction, and Herman Melville’s short stories.
ENG 631 Critical Theory M 1245-330PM Christopher Forster “Critical Theory” introduces some of the most interesting and influential modes of inquiry shared by criticism across fields. We will attempt to understand both the theoretical underpinnings of these approaches as well as how theory informs literary critical practice. The result is a class that will be neither a totally coherent survey of critical theory nor a practical “methods” course, but an uneasy balance between these competing goals. Topics we may cover include the “New Criticism,” Marxist and feminist criticisms, deconstruction, the “new historicism,” a variety of materialisms, as well as debates about “distant reading” and “postcritical” reading. Likely theorists and critics include foundational figures like Frederic Jameson, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, Edward Said, Judith Butler, and Donna Harraway.  Ultimately the class serves to help bootstrap graduate-level research and inquiry in “English” (conceived as broadly as possible). Assignments may include short presentations to the seminar, shorter written assignments that provide interpretations of works based on theoretical readings in the class, and a final, longer essay.
ENG 650 “Where Is The Voice Coming From?” F 1245-330PM Chanelle Benz Whether it belongs to NoViolet Bulawayo, Eudora Welty or David Mitchell, Kazuo Ishiguro, Claire Vaye Watkins, or John Keene, a work of fiction’s voice must feel authentic, revelatory, and close to preordained. But the right voice is hardly ever delivered straight from the muse. No matter how transparent or dialed-up the style, voice is a literary performance which is as much about where the voice is coming from as it is about what is being communicated. In this class, we will read and dissect authorial voices from a range of writers while examining the creation of voice in our own work. We will explore ways to create different voices and deepen the questions that these voices are asking. The course is divided roughly into four sections: Voice is Character, Voice is Place, Voice & the Eye, and Voice & the Sentence.
ENG 650 The Practice M 345-630PM Bruce Smith Smith* This course will examine through a series of exercises and inquiries what constitutes a poetic practice. The topics we will discuss which will generate written exercises are[but not limited to]: Bewilderment, Dialogic Poetics, News/Prayer/Song, Experiential World of Phenomenon versus the Unseen World of the Numen, Race/Gender, Intimations [Debts and Lessons], Wrongness, Slippages and Swells, Addiction, Expansion and Contraction of Language, Questions for Poets, Enchantment, Magic, Association versus Attention, The Umbilical and the Cultural, History, Stopped Time versus Endless Unfolding of Time. The writers we will read are [but not limited to]: Zadie Smith, Wayne Koestenbaum, Fanny Howe, Rachel Zucker, Lauren Berlant & Kathleen Stewart, Jaswinder Bolina, Anne Boyer, Patricia Smith, Jahan Ramazani, Wanda Coleman, Arthur Sze, Hanif Abdurraqib, Louise Glück, Layli Long Soldier, Vijay Seshadri, Jenny Xie, Emily Dickinson, Garcia Lorca, Evie Shockley.Students will be asked to write a poem in response to the exercises per week as well as a more extensive presentation of the student’s own practice.
ENG 650 Tentacles Longer Than Night: Horror Fiction and Film M 930-1215PM Mona Awad Awad** This class will look at horror as a mode, thinking about how it operates differently in fiction and film. We will read selections from classic and contemporary stories, novels and watch various films and think about what makes horror successful. We'll think about the roots of the genre, and think about where fictionalized horror still might go. Where does horror go that other genres can’t go? What we can learn from the genre as storytellers? What does horror have to teach us about life in America? Do horror films allow for different sorts of things than horror fiction? We'll use such discussion to think about our own creative work and think about what, as a mode, horror can offer to artists today. We’ll also discuss how writing techniques and tropes from horror can be used in other genres.
ENG 650 Research, History and Imagination T 1230-315PM Dana Spiotta Spiotta* We will examine how different writers use research in their work. We will look at fiction that uses historical events, fiction that uses figures from real life, fiction that uses the theories and language of science, fiction that uses a research-intensive constraint of place or of occupation. We will discuss how using newspapers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, films, diaries, letters, ads, DSM case studies, Wikipedia entries, and other media/formats can inspire the writer’s imagination and concentration. We will contemplate the things that fiction can do that a biography or a book of history cannot do. This is a generative class, and it will include writing prompts/exercises for fun and profit. bWriters include Colson Whitehead, Viet Thanh Nguyen, George Saunders, EL Doctorow, John Dos Passos, Anelise Chen, Patricia Lockwood, Chanelle Benz, John Keene, Katie Kitamua, Carmen Maria Machado, Jordy Rosenberg
ENG 650 Revelations in the Art of Memoir TH 930-1215PM Mary Karr Karr* 2021 REVELATIONS IN THE ART OF MEMOIR The goal of this class is for students to learn a) the historically significant events & memoirs from the 20th century that prefigured the form’s surge in popularity & b) technical elements such as voice, handling truth, inner versus outer POV, representing others & handling beloveds, dialogue & exposition. We’ll read 7-10 books and some essays/possibly poetry both antique and contemporary.
ENG 715 First Year Poetry Workshop TH 1230-315PM Christopher Kennedy Students in this workshop will write one poem each week and critique one another’s poems in class with the ultimate goal of learning how to become better writers and readers of poetry. Admission is strictly limited to first year students in the MFA Program in Poetry.
ENG 716 Second Year Poetry Workshop W 1245-330PM Bruce Smith Students in this course will be asked to write twelve poems, one “free” poem to push back against the world with the imagination per week.  The emphasis will be both on the craft -- the language and the shaping and forming of the writing, and the imagination -- the vision that's unique to each individual.  Classroom work will consist primarily of workshop style discussion of student work, although each class will begin with poems, ancient and modern, as model or target for discussions of technique as well as examples of tapping the resources available to the writer.  I’ll begin class with what I call, an “exemplary” poet – avoiding the more proscriptive term “essential.”  Exercises will include ways to locate the source of your poems as well as ways to "music" them, to shape them, and to revise them.
ENG 717 First Year Fiction Workshop W 1245-330PM Dana Spiotta This is a required fiction workshop for MFA students in their first year.
ENG 718 Second Year Fiction Workshop TH 1230-315PM Jonathan Dee This workshop will focus on fiction writing and the useful critique thereof. Mandatory for second-year MFA fiction students; closed to others.
ENG 719 Third Year Poetry Workshop T 930-1215PM Mary karr This is an advanced course, so I assume you’re all passionate about poetry and motivated enough to read a) write, b) critique each other’s work with utmost care and respect, c) rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. It’s a class based almost entirely on revision, so your notes on each other’s poems should be detailed and serious. I’d also like to see your revisions fairly regularly in conference, and for you to keep different drafts of the same poems. First and foremost, you must get along with each other, and anyone engaging in an ad hominem attack on anyone else in the group will be asked to leave the room. No violence, no threats of violence. You can be ironic about yourselves or me but not each other. Congeniality is a requirement for the class. You can disagree with each other, but I expect respectful comments and tone. Anyone unable to get along will not pass the class. Often people say, “We don’t have to love each other…” This class works best if we love each other. It’s part of my pedagogy.
ENG 721 Third Year Fiction Workshop ONLINE George Saunders This course is required of, and restricted to, third-year fiction students in the graduate creative writing program.  It consists of close readings of published work and works by the members of the classroom, and providing edits and comments on the latter.
ENG 730 Genre Across Media Forms T WITH SCREENING 7-945PM 930-1215PM Christopher Hanson What differentiates film, television, and game genres? The goal of this seminar is to provide an advanced introduction to the critical consideration of genre in film and screen studies. We will examine the ways in which conceptions of genre are complicated when examining them through and across time-based media forms. Our focus will be the ways in which genres are articulated and understood in film, television, analog and digital games, and virtual reality (VR) experiences. We will also investigate how genres and specific generic transmedia texts mutate and transform as they are expressed in differing forms, looking at the “same” genres or texts across multiple media forms. This will include exploring the ways in which genres have been theorized and analyzed in these different forms and looking at the complex relationships between texts, authors, audiences, industries, and institutions. Our consideration of genres will be somewhat historical as well, by examining the ways in which particular genres emerged at certain moments and in conjunction with industrial practices such as the development of narrative techniques in early cinema, the tensions between episodic series and serialized narratives on television, and shifting gameplay mechanics as digital games have evolved.
ENG 730 Archives and the Politics of Knowledge Production W 345-630PM Antonio Tiongson This graduate seminar constitutes a critical encounter with the nature of knowledge production—how we come to know what we know—through a consideration of various kinds of archives including slavery archives, colonial archives, queer immigrant archives, archives of black geographies, archives of trauma, unhappy archives, utopian archives, archives of dissonance and gossip, archives of accumulation, archives of antiblackness and performance, archives of migrant politics, and archives of Indigenous resurgence. It examines what goes into the making of archives and what kind of work they do as well as why deciphering archives is such a fraught and vexed endeavor. The seminar aims to familiarize graduate students with emergent and new approaches to thinking about and understanding archives, why it has become a focal point of inquiry across disciplinary formations. It aims to compel students to be more self-reflexive about their own source materials, to think through the specificities, complications, and challenges of engaging with their own archival materials. In short, the seminar investigates the nature of knowledge production in a way that accounts for the contingencies of power and history.